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The Culture of AIDS in AfricaHope and Healing Through Music and the Arts$
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Gregory Barz and Judah Cohen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199744473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.001.0001

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Kwaito and the Culture of AIDS in South Africa

Kwaito and the Culture of AIDS in South Africa

Chapter:
(p.343) 29 Kwaito and the Culture of AIDS in South Africa
Source:
The Culture of AIDS in Africa
Author(s):

Gavin Steingo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199744473.003.0029

This chapter explores the triangular relationship between sexuality, HIV/AIDS, and popular music in South Africa by focusing on the musical genre known as kwaito. Kwaito is a form of electronic dance music that emerged together with South Africa’s democracy in the early 1990s. Appearing in tandem with the demise of apartheid, kwaito music became the soundtrack of liberation as well as other struggles still to be fought, particularly poverty, crime, unemployment, and HIV/AIDS. This chapter considers the social implications of kwaito performance as they relate to discourses of sexual violence and rape. The chapter also looks at the lives and careers of artists such as Zola and Khabzela, as well as the ways that kwaito implicitly parallels the sexual and social power structures associated with AIDS among South Africa’s youth.

Keywords:   sexuality, HIV/AIDS, popular music, South Africa, kwaito, electronic dance music, sexual violence, rape, artists, youth

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